How To Adopt A Child From Colombia in 2020

How to adopt a child from Colombia in 2020

In Colombia, there are mainly two types of adoption, a child of a single parent or an orphan. Before adopting a child in Colombia, the adopting parents must qualify based on the criteria below.

What is the Criteria of Adopting Parents in Colombia?

Age of Parents: Parents must be at least 25 years old. Additionally, the oldest parent must be between 15 and 45 years older than the youngest child being adopted. An age difference of 50 years between parent and child and parents older than 55 years old can be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Length of Marriage: Length of Marriage:  Parents must be married for at least 3 years. Cohabitation or civil union can also be considered on case by case basis.

Proof of Financial Resources: Parents are required to provide proof of sufficient resources to support another child.

Medical Restrictions: Parents must be in good physical and mental health before adopting a Colombian child. A psychological study of the adopting parents prepared by a psychologist or a psychiatrist must be submitted along with other required documents.

Single Parent Applicant: Single parent can adopt but it is difficult to do so. Single women are allowed to adopt boys and girls with any special needs, groups of siblings and other healthy children older than 10 years old. Single men are allowed to adopt boys 10 years of age or older.

Sexual Orientation: Colombia allows same-sex couples to adopt children in Colombia as of November 2015. The Colombian Constitutional Court instructed adoption agencies not to discriminate against same sex couples.

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What is the Criteria of Children Being Adopted in Colombia?

Age: Children between the ages 9 to 15 years, children with special needs of all ages, larger sibling groups of more than 3 children and older siblings groups with more than 2 children with 1 child older than 9 years old.

Race: Children of all races and ethnicities including Hispanic, Native/Indigenous, Afro Colombian, or mixed ethnicities

Gender: All boys and girls with the option of parents requesting a gender.

How Adopting Children from Colombia Works?

ICBFThe adopting parents schedule an initial consultation with one of the adoption agencies. Their criminal history, complete biography, employment records, proof of marriage, age, mental and physical health is reviewed. The required documents are organized and then presented to Colombia’s central authority, Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) to facilitate adoptions. Finally, the adopting parents wait for final decision by a judge.

How Adopting Children from Colombia Works?

The Colombian Central Authority, BIENESTAR FAMILIAR (ICBF) manages all the adoptions. Here are the steps that you have to follow.

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3. Be Matched with a Child
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
5. Adopt the Child in Colombia
6. Bring Your Child Home.

Does Child Adoption Make You Eligible for Colombian Citizenship?

The Colombian Child Citizenship Act allows adopting parents to apply for Colombian citizenship. For more information regarding Colombian citizenship, please check Colombian citizenship laws.

What Is the Best Adopting Agency in Colombia?

Christian Adoption Agency, All God’s Children International is one of the best and well known adoption agency in Colombia. Another good adoption agency is Holt International Adopting Agency.

These agencies work with Colombia’s central authority, Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) to facilitate adoptions. The ICBF is the entity that processes all international adoptions in Colombia and is located in the capital of Bogota.

Most children available for adoption are newborns and up to 15 years of age. Children with medical conditions and sibling groups are also eligible for adoption. There are currently 11,000 orphans waiting to be adopted in Colombia.

About 20% of families are united with their children within 6 months!
The timeframe for adoption is between 6 to 18 months. The timeframe starts from registered dossier to completion. Timeframes are highly dependent on family’s openness to medical conditions, gender, and age of child.

Why Use Our Agency For Adopting Children from Colombia? 

Since 2005, our legal firm Medellin Lawyer has helped clients to adopt children from Colombia. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia. In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials or by a judge.

Our Story

James Lindzey the owner of Medellin Lawyer and Visas by James has worked as a private investigator and paralegal in the United States from the 90s until he moved to Colombia in 2005. James arrived in Colombia in 2005 and started doing visas for expats in 2007.

In addition to our visa services our agency offers a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. We are able to assist better in document collection services in the United States because of James legal experience in the United States.

Our Services

Many visas require obtaining complicated documents in the United States or Canada. Just another reason why you should choose our firm.

  • We organize your immigration profile so that your Colombian visa application is successful.
  • We elaborate and structure all the necessary documents for your Colombian visa application.
  • Presentation of a Colombian visa before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any Colombian consulate
  • Registration and orientation when you are getting you Colombian ID (Cedula de extranjeria).
  • We monitor your immigration process.
  • Translation Legalization and apostille of the documents required for your visa application.
  • Chat Over WhatsApp – get your visa questions answered fast.
  • Online quotes – get immediate quotes for visa and other legal services
  • Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
  • Office in El Poblado in Medellin services.

  Colombia Legal Accounting                                                

 

 

Secrets For A Successul Foreign Investment In Colombian Real Estate

Secrets for a Successful foreign investment in colombia real estate

After years of experience running a real estate agency in Medellin Colombia, and owning the law firm Colombia Legal & Accounting, i have organized a list of very important items to watch out for in a Colomiban Real Estate deal. Keep in mind Colombia has many rules and laws in place to control money laundering and tax evasion due to the endemic money laundering and socio economic, and cultural problems the country has to deal with. Once you get past this Colombia is a very friendly country for foreign investors.

We have organized our tips for a successful foreign investment into 11 areas, which we will now explain to you in the video.

1  Verify Colombian Wire Transfers  Forms 

  • Incorrect wire transfer forms can result in fines up to 4 times the value of the wire in some cases.
  • Incorrect ID/passport number,  vales or concept code numbers can disqualify you for visas.

2 Verify Purchase Price on Title at Signing

Common practice in Colombia is to record a lower value on a title, However there is a very strict financial law which went into effect January 1st, 2019 which lets the government fine you up to 4 times the value of your property if you under declare the real sale value.

basic steps

3 No Cash Transactions:

  1. Colombia has a new Financial Law which  went into effect January 1st, 2019  to Control Sales of Property using cash transactions to Avoid Taxes.
  2. Cash Transactions are illegal under the new financial law.

4 Filed Bank Transfer Form

  1. Always ask your bank or financial institution  for copy of the 'FILED' (radicado) wire transfer form.
  2. Banks often make clerical errors that must be corrected.
  3. Bank wire transfer forms can be easily  corrected.

5 No Cash Transactions:

  1. This is negotiable, and normally it equals amount of penalty clause. Some foreigners offer a small initial deposit as payment to hold the property while the buyer organizes an internatinoal wire for full required payment.

8 Penalty Clause: Do not sign document without having a clause to protect you from a bank not opening or clearing your wire transfer Normal Penalty clause is for 10-20%.

NO LETTER OF INTENT - Letters of intent are not customarily used in Colombia as they are in the United States: The only binding document is a purchase or pre-purchase sales agreement .

10 Open a Bank or Investor Account in AdvanceOpen a Bank or Investor Account in Advance

- Do not wire directly to a seller without having a purchase agreement signed at notary (best to avoid this option).

- Wire directly to your own personal account in Colombia.

- Bank Account Wires Must be Planned in Advance or you May lose your deal or Violate yogur Purchase agreement.

11 If you’re a foreigner you probably want to buy in an estrato 4 or higher

Social economic income coding for neighborhoods  usually ranges from 1-6, the higher numbers represent higher class neighborhoods, and usually have higher security and sanitation attention, but are also more expensive when it comes to public utilities, and taxes. Outside of major cities this is not as much of an issue.

Ther professional services which we recommend before buying a property in Colombia include:

Obtaining a property survey from a civil engineer

Obtaining a property inspection performed by a civil engineer

Requesting an investigation of the property administration association.
Specifically reviewing proof of the administration’s:

Financial reports certified by independent auditor

Property bi-laws

Residential & commercial zoning laws

Insurance coverage

 Verification Property is not on Government Clinton List

 Commercial Escrows &  Construction Trusts

 Living Trusts to Protect your Property and Families Future (click Here)

More foreigners living in Colombia choose COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A.S as their law firm to assist in purchasing a property in Colombia for personal and commercial reasons. Also, we are among the most experienced firms when it comes to negotiating property rental contracts, both commercial and residential.

We strongly suggest that you discuss all of the information you receive with your attorney BEFORE signing a contract to purchase real estate in Colombia. At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A.S we will complete the due diligence necessary to ensure that your real estate transaction goes smoothly, and all of your questions are answered. Finally, we will educate you on the entire process of  how to buy real estate in Colombia, with complete transparency at the highest level.

CLICK HERE to ask any questions or make an appointment to speak directly with one of our real estate professionals today.

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Colombia Legal Accounting

Living Trust in Colombia

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Why Should I have a Living Trust in Colombia? Most importantly the assets placed into a Colombian trust cannot be forced into liquidation in divorces, taxes, or law suits. Trusts also represent an excellent way to reduce taxes for inheritance passed to children or your spouse.  A Living Trust in Colombia is used to protect your home, property, bank accounts, shares in a Colombian company, business establishment, vehicles, pets, jewelry, valuables, and other assets.

Colombia Legal Alert: Couples enter into a common law marriage in just 2 years! Spouses can have rights to percentages as high as 50% on property purchases or profits from rentals and sales which happen during a relationship.trust estate planning in colombia

living trust (Fideicomiso Civil in Spanish) is a legal document created by a licensed attorney in Colombia through which your assets are placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime, and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death or if you become incapacitated. An administrator (trustee) may take control of the assets upon your death, or the beneficiary may also directly receive assets upon death. When children are involved its best to have an administrator oversee the trust for a set period. Once the Living Trust is signed, you transfer ownership of your assets into the trust and you remain in complete control of your property. The trust property can be managed and distributed without going through the probate court.

What is a living trust and how is it different from a last will and testament?
1. Avoid Probate, and Inheritance Taxes - It's a smart way to avoid probate. Keep more money in the family by avoiding potentially lengthy and expensive court proceedings. A will and testament in Colombia is important to keep your wishes clear to cover any items which are not in a trust, such as miscellaneous personal items.

2. Estate Planning - A plan for your family’s future - You set conditions now on how property or money maybe used if something happens to you. Excellent to force financial management of assets for the family if you die, become incapacitated or unable to sign documents. Minors futures are protected. A popular condition for  a trust is to block property sales until a child finishes high school or college. Trusts may also be setup to protect mentally dependent adults. The bottom line is that your family is protected from lengthy and costly processes.

3. Protects Family Assets - Your affairs get handled if you're incapacitated. Avoid going to court by appointing a trustee to take charge of your finances according to your instructions. While you are a live and mentally Capable you maintain complete control of the trust.

Can I transfer property into and out of the trust while I'm alive? Yes. If you have an individual trust, you can transfer property whenever you want. If you have a shared trust, you'll need your co-trustee's consent if you own the property together.

Do I still need a will in Colombia if I have a living trust? Yes, because you may not have transferred your property into your trust before you pass away. It transfers property still in your name alone when you pass away to the trust to be distributed to your beneficiaries. It also lets you name guardians for your minor children. Click here for more information on a will in Colombia.

Aren't living trusts just for the wealthy? Not at all. People of all income levels can set one up to manage their finances in case they become disabled, or to provide for loved ones without going through probate court, which may be required of relatively modest estates.

Keywords for a Living Trust in Colombia:
Living trust is = Fidicomiso Civil or “entre vivos” in Spanish
Traspaso de bienes entre vivos = Transfer of assets between live persons

Time to implement Living Trust:
3 Days to 1 week to prepare and register the living trust.
* Property Title Registration which are moved to the trust usually take about 3 weeks.

Legal Fees:
From $1,500,000 Pesos & Up (500 USD)

Notary Fees:
From $250,000 Pesos & Up (85 USD)

Let us know what you would like in your trust and we can give you an exact quote.

Estate planning in Colombia: A LIVING TRUST is a vital part to legal estate planning which can be complemented by tax planning, a will, and a special power of attorneys for items such as financial, medical, travel, an real estate transactions.

With an estate planning consultation we will help you answer and analyze your concerns so we can prepare the best plan for your specific needs. At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING we have the expertise to put together the most beneficial estate plan, based upon your desires and expectations. Contact us to today to take the next step toward securing your family’s future.

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How to buy Real Estate in Colombia

How to buy real estate in Colombia

Real Estate Legal Services and Property Buying Tips by Colombia Legal & Accounting SAS

When thinking about how to buy property in Colombia  consider the following tips outlined in this article.  Our experienced real estate attorneys help individuals, families and businesses with all real estate sale, purchase and rental issues. In Colombia it is important for Buyers and Sellers to use licensed attorneys to perform the following tasks:

First and Foremost, Use of an INDEPENDENT LAWFIRM OR ATTORNEY is EXTREMELY IMPORTANTDO NOT USE IN HOUSE ATTORNEYS FROM REAL ESTATE AGENCIES! For obvious reasons, your realtor and their preferred attorney have conflicts of interest. A realtor does not get a commission if a deal does not happen. A preffered attorney for a realtor will not get future business if they do not collaborate with the realtor on problems. Your attorney will look out for your needs but must be independent with no conflicts of interest! Realtors will try to influence deals and push them through, hiding problems, and creating future issues which are passed on to YOU the new buyer. 

  The Colombian Foreign Investment Regulations - The first purchase in Colombia as a foreigner should always be done with someone who understands how to manage the handful of agencies involved in the transaction. If not you can end up with huge problems on your title, visa, and fines for tax evasion or money laundering. Most attorneys and realtors are not familiar with the big picture when it comes to Foreign investments. Correct planning must take place before you even send money to Colombia for purchasing real estate! This process is referred to as legalization of a direct foreign investment, but following traditional old fashioned realtors will get you in trouble as they usually are trying to avoid taxes at property closings. The government audits ALL foreign investments but most local transactions between Colombians are not audited, so Colombian custom is to claim 50-70% lower closing costs (final sale price). If you do this with a direct foreign investment the government will visit you in the future, and it will not be pleasant.

Review residential and commercial real estate contractual transactions for lots, commercial projects, pre-construction, and existing structures.

Negotiate the terms of real estate purchase contract, rental contracts, trasnsfer of rental contracts, loan pay-payoffs, property taxes, repairs, posessions, evictions and more depending on the particular case.

Draft and review contract(s) to purchase or sell property in Colombia, (compraventa/promesa de compraventa)

Review related documents, for example, property title history, clinton list and criminal history  (criminal history and money laundering database check of past owners), rental contracts, grounds keeper labor contracts, Home Owner’s Association rules, financial reports for building administration.

Consider the use of an escrow account in Colombia for large real estate transactions.

Capital investments for commercial real estate developments or projects. Our real estate attorneys can assist in capital or lot for apartment deals.

Our attorneys also assist property owners with more complicated matters such as:

  • Addressing zoning problems
  • Property tax appeals
  • Zoning Permissions, Residential or Commercial Use for Apartments, & Building Administration Rules (VERIFY AIR B&B Daily Rental Permissions Before you Buy!!!)
  • Creation of property management corporations

Owners and renters alike should work with a local law firm to draft and/or review residential and commercial lease agreements. At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACOUNTING S.A.S we can guide you through how to buy real estate in Colombia. We assist in rental and loan contracts as well.

While general real estate concepts are similar to those in many other countries, including the U.S., there are some very important differences in Colombian law. As a result, it is critical that you retain an experienced lawyer who knows the law, and the process on how to rent, purchase or sell real estate in Colombia, and who can explain these differences and how they may affect you.

escrow and title service for Colombian real estate

The basic steps on How to buy Real Estate in Colombia are:

1. Open a personal Financial Account in Colombia - we can recommend the best places to establish your account and make the introductions for you.

2. Negotiate the property price and determine who will pay which closing costs and how taxes will be addressed - we suggest using a reputable Real Estate professional, such as Paradise Realty, to        negotiate on your behalf in order to ensure the best price if you are dealing with a Colombian resident. Check out property for sale in Colombia here, and venta apartamentos en medellin.

3. Contract one of our real estate attorneys for title and property closing services - We will walk you through every step and ensure that you understand exactly what you are buying and how much you are paying.

4. Have the real estate attorney draft a purchase contract before you make a down payment to hold property.

5. Attend Property Closing & Make Final Payment - this will occur at a Notary’s Office.

6. Registration of Deed with the Proper Authorities.

how to buy real estate in colombia

The purchase of real estate in Colombia may qualify you for a Colombian Residency Visa under certain circumstances. We can explain the current requirements and assist with these additional steps if you are interested in obtaining a Colombian Residency Visa:

As part of purchasing a property with money from another country its very important to have a plan on how to legalize your foreign investment. James Lindzey overseas all foreign investment registrations with the help of our licensed Colombian attorneys, and Colombian accountants. Last but not least this step is very important if you want to comply with Colombian investor visa requirements. The basic outline for legalizing foreign investments are the following.

1. Registration of your Foreign Investment with the Colombian Federal Government at the time of the wire transfer-

2. Confirmation and certification of your Foreign Investment from the Government immediately following the registration of the wire transfer.

3. Processing the necessary immigration application documents to obtain a Visa with the ministry of foreign relations in Colombia.

Click on the “Immigration Law” tab for additional information about this process.

If you are purchasing real estate in Colombia, it is important that you understand exactly what services an attorney should provide at and before the property closing. Property closing services should include:

1. Title Investigation by an Attorney - the attorney should investigate the property deed, title history, determine who actually owns the property, whether any liens appear on the title, etc.

2. Drafting of the sales contract for the purchase of property (promesa de compraventa) - must include all details you desire, including any requested repairs, furniture, appliances, etc

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Other professional services which we recommend before buying a property in Colombia include:

Obtaining a property survey from a civil engineer

Obtaining a property inspection performed by a civil engineer

Requesting an investigation of the property administration association.
Specifically reviewing proof of the administration’s:

Finances

Property bi-laws

Residential & commercial zoning laws

Insurance coverage

 Verification Property is not on Government Clinton List

 Commercial Escrows &  Construction Trusts

 Living Trusts to Protect your Property and Families Future (click Here)

More foreigners living in Colombia choose COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A.S as their law firm to assist in purchasing a property in Colombia for personal and commercial reasons. Also, we are among the most experienced firms when it comes to negotiating property rental contracts, both commercial and residential.

We strongly suggest that you discuss all of the information you receive with your attorney BEFORE signing a contract to purchase real estate in Colombia. At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A.S we will complete the due diligence necessary to ensure that your real estate transaction goes smoothly, and all of your questions are answered. Finally, we will educate you on the entire process of  how to buy real estate in Colombia, with complete transparency at the highest level.

CLICK HERE to ask any questions or make an appointment to speak directly with one of our real estate professionals today.

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